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Old 06-06-2008, 11:54 AM   #1
DubbelDach
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I am so pissed off.

I put my mead together on Sunday (6/1). 18 pounds of clover honey, spring water up to 5 gallons, yeast nutrient (followed directions, 1 tsp/1gallon must), and Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast. The smack pack was hit late friday night and was on the verge of bursting by pitching time. I also oxygenated the must with pure O2 through a carb stone.

On Tuesday, I opened the bucket and took a gravity. 1.138, same as Sunday. i stirred it, added a few more teaspoons of nutrient. put a different lid on the bucket in case it was a seal issue. Anything I could think of.

Last night (6/5), took another hydrometer reading. Same gravity. No action. The bucket has been at 72 degrees ever since Sunday.

Plese help me, as I am ready to Hulk out.....

 
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:19 PM   #2
Loweface
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I'm still a newbie myself so feel free to ignore me...

Based on what I've read (and not experience) I'd say you have two options. Wait and see... Or repitch with a starter... Maybe someone else here has a better idea?

 
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:09 PM   #3
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I think it was the amount of honey you started out with. 18 lbs is a LOT for 5 gallons and I'll bet the yeast were shocked from the weight of the sugar. Your OG is massive!

Do this; get a gallon jug, and fill it up about a 1/4 of the way with your must, and fill to halfway with apple juice and oxygenate it. At this point you can either repitch, or see if the yeast in suspension are still alive and see if it picks up.

The apple juice has nutrients in it, and is less dense than the honey. Give it a day and add more of the must to the jug. Shake it up and wait a day again for activity to pick up. You can oxyenate for five days after you start your fermentation. Since it hasn't started at all, you can start at day 0 again when you do this.

Ideally, it's best to start this in another 5 gallon carboy or bucket so you can keep making additions to your must without too much racking. I had to do this one time because I did the exact same thing. The OG has to start rather low and let the yeast ramp up. A dry mead has 2.5 lbs per gallon, a regular mead has 3 lbs per gallon, and a sweet mead usually has around 4 lbs per gallon.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:42 PM   #4
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Yeah, underpitched into an extremely high gravity. anything more than 3lbs a gallon, I suggest you lower the honey, and then feed more into the must after a couple of weeks.
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:09 AM   #5
Plan9
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I just made my first mead today.
1 Gallon jug
4 lbs Honey
juice from 2 lemons
some fruit
water to top off

I used half of a wyeast sweat mead smack pack (the other half went into 1 gallon of cider).

Should this take off?

I would think since the yeast was ment for 5 gallons, half would work for the one gallon.

Whatcha think?
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:53 AM   #6
BigKahuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

I would think since the yeast was ment for 5 gallons, half would work for the one gallon.

Whatcha think?
It will be fine....BUT!
Use the whole pack of yeast...especially when using dry yeast.
AND
Avoid a 1 gallon batch...You will eventually end up with something that is freeken amazing and you'll have 4 bottles.

I'm so lucky...the LHBS has $14.00 glass 3 gallon carboys....It takes $100 worth of diesel to get there.....but the carboys are great for mead.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:04 AM   #7
Plan9
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It was liquid yeast, but I see what your saying.

I've never even tried mead before, so I wasn't planing on investing much.

If I like it my LHBS has the 3s for $18
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:00 PM   #8
DubbelDach
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Update: On Sunday (6/8, one week after pitching) there was activity. Slow bubbling, so I swirled the bucket. Air came rocketing out of the airlock, a machine gun-like burst of air firing out of the airlock, expelling the red cap and half the vodka. It then started bubbling like a normal fermentation. When it has slowed, I have swirled and the machine gun bubbling happens again.

I am going to take a gravity reading tonight, but I am thinking that the thick must is trapping CO2 in it? If so, I'd imagine that it will thin out as the honey is turned to alcohol, and might bubble more regularly. It gives me hope that it is working though.

Thoughts?

 
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:33 PM   #9
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Thoughts: be patient. mead takes a lot longer to ferment than beer, and is much slower about it.

Some people get really good fermentation rates, but it seems like most do not. yeast used, energizer and nutrients, specific honey types, the pH of your must...all of these things matter a fair amount.

its fermenting now...that's good. leave it be.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:35 PM   #10
Nerro
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This means nothing, I just had a mead take TWO WEEKS before it finally got going. Now it's bubbling like a madman.

Give it time. (if need be, weeks.)
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